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full pontifical powers, have thought it incumbent on us to remove every ambiguity and obstacle, which might impede so desirable a conciliation ;-and, by the authority and consent of the Holy See, to supply such faculties as do not come within the ordinary limits of episcopal jurisdiction. Having, therefore, taken the advice of the most learned Prelates and Divines -having examined the lett rs which have been transmitted to us both by your Lordship and the Archbishop of Dublin, and the matter having been maturely discussed in a special congregation, it is decreed, that the Catholics may, with satisfaction and gratitude, accept and embrace the Bill, which was last year presented for their Emancipation, in the form in which your Lordship has laid it before us. One point only requires some explanation, and that is, the second part of the Oath, by which the Clergy is so restrained, as not to be permitted to hold any correspondence with the Sovereign Pontiff and his Ministers, which may, directly or indirectly, subvert, or in any way disturb, the Protestant Government or Church. It is evidently by divine authority the special duty of the Ministers of the Church every where to propagate the Catholic faith, (the only faith which can lead to eternal felicity) and to refute erroneous doctrines. This is taught by the precepts of the Gospel, and by the example of the Apostles and their successors. Now, should a Catholic convert any. Protestant to the orthodox religion, he might be deemed guilty of perjury, as, by such conversion, he might seem, in some sort, to disturb the Protestant Church. Understood in this sense, the Oath cannot lawfully be taken, as being repugnant to the Catholic faith. If, 'on the other hand, thrs be the meaning of the Legislators--that the Ministers of the Catholic Church'are not forbidden to preach, instract, and give counsel ; but are only prohibited from disturbing the Protestant Church or Government, by violence and arms, or evil artifices of whatever kind this is just, and entirely consonant to our principles.
To you, therefore, it belongs, with all humility and earnestness, to supplicate the High Conrt of Parliament, that, in order to quiet and secure the consciences of the Catholic Clergy, it will affix some modification or declaration to this clause in the Oath, which, removing every ambiguity, may leave them the liberty peacefully to preach and to persuade. In case the Bill be atready passed, containing the same words, or that nothing in it is allowed to be altered, let the Clergy acquiesce; and, it will be sufficient for them publicly to declare, that this, and this only, is the sense, in which they have sworn to it, so that
nothing in the Oath may be adverse to orthodox doctrine ; and, that this Protest may be generally known, and be for an example to posterity, this construction of it shall be publicly recorded. It were to be wished, likewise, if it can be obtained, that a declaration should be made by some of the members of Parliament, that Government requires the Oath from the Catholic Clergy in this sense, and in no other. Other clauses, which
mention as contained in the same Bill, may submitted to by the indulgence of the Apostolic See.
That the King should desire to be certified of the loyalty of such as are promoted to a Bishoprick or Deanery, and should be assured that they are endowed with such qualities as become a good subject—that to investigate these particulars, he should likewise appoint a Committee to inquire into their moral conduct, and make a report to His Majesty, as your Lordship has given us to understand is the case : that, for the very same reason, the King should require that foreigners, and those, likewise, who have not resided five years in the kingdom, should be excluded from such dignities—all this, as it regards only what is within the competence of civil authority, may be deserving of every toleration. It is highly proper, that our Prelates should be agreeable and accoptable to the King; that tiey should exercise their ministry with his full covsent; in fine, that their probity should be evident'even to those, who are not in the bosom of the church. For a Bishop, (as the Apostle teaches, 1st Epistle to Timothy, in. 7.) must have a good testimony from them, who are without. On these accounts, by the authority vested in us we allow, that those who are designed for a Bishoprick or Deanery, and are proposed by the clergy, be admitted or rejected by the King, according to the proposed Bill. Therefore, after the clergy kave, in the usual manner, chosen those, whom they shall have judged in the Lord to be worthy to be exalted to those dignities, in Ireland the Metropolitan of tbe province, in England and Scotland the Senior Apostolical Vicar shall announce them to the Committee, for the royal approbation or dissent. If the candidates be rejected, others shall be proposed, who may be pleasing to His Majesty : but, if approved, the Metropolitau, or Apostolical Vicar, as above,shall send the act of their election to this sacred congregation, which, having weighed with care the merits of each individual, shall apply to the sovereign Pontiff for canonical institution. We observe, likewise, that it is the office of the said Committee to examine any letters, which are sent to any of the clergy of Great Britain from the ecclesiastical
powers, and diligently to inquire whether any thing be contained therein, which
be obnoxious to the Government, or in any way disturb the public tranquillity. Since communication with the head of the church in spiritual and ccclesiastical concerns is not prohibited, but the inspection of the Committee regards only matters of civil policy, this likewise ought to be acquiesced in. It is good, that the Government should not entertain any suspicion concerning our communications. What we write can be laid open to all; for in no way do we interfere with civil concerns : our attention is directed to those things only, which appear to be required by the divine and ecclesiastical law, and by the salutary regulations of church discipline. Those matters only shall be kept secret, which affect the internal tribunal of conscience; but for this we see it is sufficiently provided by the clauses inserted in the said Bill : and we are well persuaded, that your wise Government, while it is intent on preserving public security, will, by no means, exact that the Catholics should depart from their religion; nay, is rather pleased, that they faithfully adhere to it; for this holy and divine religion is friendly to public authority, gives stability to thrones, and mahes subjects obedient, faithful, and emulous of their country's welfare. Nothing, therefore, can be more gratifying and delightful to the Apostolic Sec, than that between ihe Government and its Catholic subjects there should exist an entire concord and a mutual confidence; that the Ministers of the State should never be able to doubt their loyalty, obedience, and attachment; and that the Catholics themselves should be devoted to their country with every effort of zeal, candour, and alacrity. We therefore exhort all, in the name of the Lord, and especially the Bisliops, to lay aside contention; and, for the edification of others, unanimously to adopt the same sentiments, that there may be no room for schim, nor any injury be done to the Catholic cause : but that, if the Bill shall be passed, by which the Catholics shall be freed from the penal restrictions, by which they are now held, they not only embrace it with entire satisfaction, as has already been said, but express the strongest sentiments of gratitude to His Majesty and his most august Council, for so great a benefit; and, by their conduct, prove themselves worthy of it. In conclusion, we request of your Lordsbip, that
you will cause this letter to be communicated to all the Bishops and Apostolical Vicars in the kingdom : and trusting that they will, prompily and entirely, conform themselves io these things, which, from the power vested in us, have been
decreed. We beseech the Lord God Omnipotent to preserve your Lordship for length of years ; and, at the same time, I profess myself bound to you by every consideration, and am,
Your most devoted Servant,
J. B. QUARANTOTTI, Vice President.
MICHAEL ADEODATUS GALEASSI, Substitute.
Given at Rome, from the Chambers of the Congregation for the
Propagati.r. of the Faith, 16th February, 1814.
To the Right Rev. William POYNTER,
Bishop of Halia, and Vicar Apostolic
Extract from Instructions, under the Sign Manual to Lieute
nail-General Sir Geo. Prevost, Bart. as Captain-General and Governor in Chief, in and over the Province of Lower Canada ; dated at Carlton House, the twenty-second day of October, 1811, in the fifly-third year of his Majesiy's Reign. Paragraph 42d.
Whereas the establishment of proper Regulations in matters of Ecclesiastical concern, is an object of very great importance, it will be your indispensable duty to take care , that no arrangements in regard thereto be made , but such as give satisfaction to our new subjects in every point, in which they have a right to any indulgence on that head; always remembering, that it is a toleration of the free exercise of the religion of the Church of Rome only, to which they are entitled, but not to the powers And privileges of it, as an Established Church, that being a preferince which belongs only to the Protestant Church of England.
Paragraph 40. — Upon these principles therefore, and to the end, that our just Supremacy in all matters Ecclesiastical as well as Civil may have its due scope and influence, it is Our will and pleasure: -.
ist. – That all Appeals to, or Correspondence with any foreign Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, of any
nature or kind soever, be absolutely forbidden under very severe penalties.
2d. – That no Episcopal or Vicarial powers be exercised within our said Province, by any person professing the Religion of the Church of Rome, but such only, as are essentially and indispensably necessary to the free exercise of the Romish Religion; and in these
and in these cases not without a Licence and Permission from
under the seal of our said Province, for and during our will and pleasure; and under such limitations and restrictions, as may correspond with the spirit and provisions of